Use these eco-friendly birthday party ideas so you can enjoy a celebration that’s not harmful to the environment and still stick to your budget.

A feature image for a blog post about having an eco-friendly birthday party.

It’s an excellent way to teach children (and adults) how to have fun while caring for the environment. Those are important life lessons to develop.

Use the tips and ideas below to lessen your environmental footprint while your family and friends celebrate the special day of your loved one.

1. Use E-Invitations or Seed Paper

When it comes to sending out invitations for the birthday celebration, you don’t need to use paper at all. With today’s technology, it’s easy to do e-invitations and avoid paper altogether.

Another cool thing to do is to send out invitations made from seed paper. This is paper that is biodegradable and has seeds mixed in it. When your guests are finished with their invites, they can plant them and see what grows.

One company in Canada that produces eco-friendly seed paper is Botanical PaperWorks. They have a nice selection of birthday invitations on post-consumer paper turned into biodegradable seed invitations.

2. Avoid Single-Use Servingware

One wasteful practice that is thankfully on the way out is to use single-use servingware for parties and celebrations. It’s convenient, especially for picnics and on-the-go festivities, but it’s terrible for the environment. And, it’s usually made of plastic, which is an eco-disaster.

It’s essential to avoid doing this for your birthday celebration. Wherever possible, entertain with reusable dishes and cutlery. The extra cleanup is a small price for the sake of the environment.

3. Use Natural and Repurposed Decorations

When you decorate for the birthday party, use natural decorations (not plastic or disposable) that can be reused for other events. You’ll avoid waste and more trash.

Another idea is to shop at the local thrift stores for decorations you can repurpose. Why buy something new if you can repurpose an item already in circulation. You can also borrow decoration items from friends or family.

4. Avoid Food Waste

A major part of your birthday celebration will be the food you serve. There are several things you can do to cut down on any food waste and avoid more trash:

  • Shop for local sources of food so you aren’t buying things that travel long distances.
  • Plan ahead and don’t buy more food than you think will be used.
  • Make the cake at home and decorate it yourself (or have a friend do it).
  • Have doggie bags available for guests to take leftovers home and avoid wastage.
  • Freeze leftover food to use later.

If you plan ahead, the food aspect of the party doesn’t need to be wasteful. It doesn’t have to be excessive to be thoughtful or fun for everyone.

5. Give Eco-Friendly Gifts and Favors

Put some thought into your gift and favors choices, and they can easily be eco-friendly and not end up in the trash. Wherever possible, avoid cheap plastic items and wasteful things like wrapping paper and paper cards.

Gifts can easily be wrapped in cloth or craft paper, or you can give it in a cheerful reusable bag. And, party favors can include eco-friendly items that are not plastic and end up in the trash a few hours later. Ideas include:

  • Packets of seeds or seed bombs
  • Jump ropes
  • Homemade cookies
  • Handmade magnets
  • No goodie bags and they make a craft to take home instead
  • Be bold and ditch the goodie bag altogether

Source your gifts and party favors by thinking about where it comes from, what’s in the material, and how it impacts the environment. Being eco-conscious means, you’ll put the health of the planet first.

6. Plan Eco-Friendly Activities

Plan activities and games for the birthday party that are eco-friendly and encourage eco-consciousness. Anything outside in nature such as hiking, birdwatching, going to the beach, a picnic, playing in the park, or exploring nature will be a form of ecotherapy.

When you plan games, keep it simple and avoid activities that include large amounts of disposable items that end up in the trash. A simple game of “tag” without any props can be huge fun for all ages.

Your birthday party can be safer for the environment. Doing some planning and thinking ahead will give you time to make your celebration eco-friendlier and set the tone for the event.

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